Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Harischandra Fort, Puralimala.

“According to a tradition, which has no basis in fact, Cheraman Perumal, the last of the Chera emperors, became a convert to Islam and left for Mecca and this event helped the spread of Islam in Kerala”(Sreedhara Menon).
For those who try to search something about the ancient Kerala History is the lack of proper History. There is no authentic record to claim most of the accepted beliefs in the state. We have to rely mostly on the oral tales of the elder people. The case of Harischandra Fort is an example for this. The people of Malabar, especially Peravoor argues that the place named Puralimala was one of the main centre of Chera Kingdom were they used to collect taxes from the people. That particular place is known as Harischandr Fort; but there is no evidence to prove that there was a fort there in the past. What remains as a relic of the past is a Siva Linga, which is there even now. It is believed that Pazhassi Raja worshipped that idol during his guerrilla warfare against the British. There is a cave nearby this area where Pazhassi lived during that time.

There is no record to prove all these things in history. Even the rule of the Cheras have not enough records. “......Konga Desam and Chera Desam are interchangeable terms, and that the Chera Kingdom was conquered and annexed by the Chola about A.D. 900...”(J.H.Nelson). William Logan, in his Malabar Manual, argues that the reason for the lack of historical datas regarding the chera rule as that of the Brahmin-Jain conflicts (245). “But when the bearers of these traditions”(Brahmins)”first came to this land, Chera or Kerala had dwindled down to the small province of South Malabar, Cochin, and North Travancore( Putuppattanam to Kannetti), and it was apparently to these limits that the name of Kerala, thus imported to Malabar at this time, was originally applied by Malayalis themselves”(245).
As Logan argued the reason for the disappearance of proper records of Chera kings might be because of the Brahmin element. The story of the conversion of the last Chera King, Cheraman Perumal, also supports this argument. But why the modern historians of our time neglect all these facts?

The name Keralam, based on these kinds of stories, is derived from Cheras. In the Sangam Tamil terms the name Chera means “hill country” derived from Cheral meaning mountain slope in the ancient Tamil.
If the place near Puralimala, named Harischandra Fort, was the trading centre of Chera Kingdom the govt and the people should take necessary actions to save the place. Let us thankfully remember our forefathers and show respect towards them.
1. Wikipedia contributors. "Chera Dynasties." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 Feb. 2011. Web. 24 Feb. 2011.
2. Logan, William. Malabar Manual.1st ed. Google Book Search. Web. 24. feb.2011.
3. Menon, A Sreedhara. The Legacy of Kerala, D.C. Books, Kottayam.2008.
4. Nelson, J. H. Political History Of Madura Country. Google Book Search. Web. 24 feb. 2011

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